“No matter who you vote for, make sure you vote.” (“Game On”, 4.5, West Wing)

Really, I think that it’s clear who should be elected, but I know that my opinion is not everyone (or anyone) else’s opinion–so yeah.

So, if y’all haven’t voted today, get on that donkey like now.  It needs to be done.  This is how we are heard, and sometimes, being heard means that our better angels can shout down other’s devils.

It’s important.

This time more than maybe any other.

So, yeah, I’ve been promising a National Novel Writing Month post (and have been avoiding it because I’ve been saving my words for my novel, but I think I might have a few to spare today).

National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo to those of us poor souls that schlep through it every year) is basically attempting to write a 50,000 word novel (roughly equivalent in length to Brave New World by Aldous Huxley) over the course of November.

Yep, you read that right:   50,000 words in 30 days.

Terrifyingly, it’s actually doable.

You don’t worry about out-of-character-ness, grammar, spelling, plot-holes, or anything.  That’s all worried about in the editing.  You just worry about getting out a draft.

My novel this year was actually sparked by my series spindle’s work, Zellandine’s denouement (and Gnome saying, why don’t you do Zellandine’s Museum and have all you pieces be in it all Night Gallery-esque), so kinda derivative from shows like Night Gallery and Warehouse 13 and Friday the 13th:  The Series but different. <–Yes, I am ridiculously well-versed in bad horror and scifi series.  Deal with it.

My main character is Enim Hallow, who is the most recent generation of Hallows and becomes the Object Curator of Zellandine’s Museum.  My other characters are Benedict “Benny” Orwell Timothy Carroll IV, the Objects Auditor; Orestes “Wolf” Lacon, Object Security and Stabilization; Zellandine “Z” Rose, Object Research and Collection; and Gilmer “Gil” Enkid, Object Tracker.  A couple of characters from my other novels are making cameos:  Jael Delilah Scarlett, a Hood (basically, the Hoods are were-animal Hunters, but Delilah isn’t really having it; she’s also what is called an Enkite [i.e., she’s a knowledge keeper] who is being recruited into the Ninkasi, a secret order within the Enkites who want to bring down the Hoods), and Tierney MacKay, an Indidem Sanguine (sort of a born-vampire).

Sorta.

After a fashion.

Basically, before the entire vampire-thing, Tierney and Enim went to art school together.

*HANDS*

It makes more sense in my head, I think.

But, yep, this is November.  I’ve completed NaNo before, but this time, I’m aiming for something a bit further along on the useable than my other novels have been (like, there might be a plot that can actually be used, and characters that don’t need a drastic overhaul when I’m done).

An excerpt:

Enim just—stopped. He stopped and he looked around Zellandine’s Museum and saw nothing that looked remotely dangerous.

Honestly, if Enim hadn’t been being told his entire life that many of these objects were exceedingly old, he had have thought that they were pieces of contemporary art. Really, he didn’t think that they were that old; they were just made by an artist he had never heard of, had never met.

Because that was the way of the world sometimes.

Seriously, they would have been incredibly interesting art pieces, and yeah, there were pieces that were just like “what the actual fuck are these things doing in a Museum?”–like the old turquoise glass stoppered bottle that was filled with sea urchin carapaces and spins.

Pretty, but seriously huh?

But, evidently, the oldest piece (and the piece that looked least like it was old) was a piece called Zellandine.

Evidently, the Museum was named after this piece.  Or the piece was named after the Museum.

Or, door number three, there was absolutely no correlation between the name of the Museum and the name of the piece.

Whatever.

But it was described as being made of handspun yarn, copper wire, handspun silk, handmade flax paper, and ink.

Okay, yeah, that was pretty obvious what it was made of—if you had been to art school and actually had had classes in fiber and paper and metal—but that was not really all that helpful. Or, honestly, descriptive.

But, there was something about it that made Enim want to touch it.

It looked soft, like, really soft. The fiber part, that is. And the flax paper that stood out, was sew to the fiber so that it fluttered and moved in every single tiny breeze, made an amazing rasp-slither-crinkle sound that set Enim’s nerves on edge but was also almost addictive.

Yeah, sensory art. Kinetic art. Fiber art. Total turn-ons for Enim’s art-prone brain.

…maybe he would just touch. No one would know—

The bell above the door tinkle-jingled causing Enim to jump back away from Zellandine really not knowing—remembering—why he had wanted to touch the piece so badly.

Enim turned to see who had actually come into the Museum (Had anyone ever even come into the Museum?) He had been coming here his entire life—like, he was fairly certain that he had been born in the preservationist room, but whatever—and Enim could not really think of anyone other than his family—extended and close and unknown and every flavor in-between—having ever stepped foot into the Museum.

So, yeah, that’s a little bit of the 12,000+ words I’ve written so far.

It seriously took like 4,000 for Enim and Benny to finally have a conversation that was, ya know, doing anything to forward the plot.

Okay, back to the salt mines.

Happy Election Day!

NaNo 0n.

Courage.

So, I feel like I should explain somethings–

 

Especially for those of you at home playing the tentacle-made-Tumblr edition. Or those who follow the tentacle-made Facebook page.

Or, ya know *waves encompassingly*, if y’all squint to hard at anything I’m up to.

I’m a complete and utter fangirl/boy/squid, and since my work is conceptually driven by fairytales and popular culture, fandom–in all of its glorious ridiculousness and wonder–is totally my home.

Hell, most of my conference papers, articles, and class papers have involved popular culture in some way.

It’s what I do.

So, yeah, I’ve been kinda absence because fandom sucked me back in in the best possible way, and I’ve been glut-researching for fics that I’m writing–if you like that sort of thing, I have a Supernatural fic about Bobby and a Teen Wolf fic about Stiles that I have recently finished and are posted for the interweb to see…there’s SGA fic over on Wraithbait too–as well as novels that I’m working on because–sometimes–I don’t think of things like pack dynamics, but when you’re writing Therian-based novels, considering pack dynamics is kinda important.

Here’s a weird little taste of The Novel:

Oops, there was the cranky again.  “Nothing,” Delilah sighed resting against the smooth, glowing bark of a hugely ancient birch tree.  “I wasn’t here because there were any signs of Therians.  I was here to live my life.”
 
:That’s what I was doing here too; before every night became about me running from you and our little bantering flirtation.  This is really cutting into my day job, ya know?:
 
“Tell me about it.  I could totally use not doing this every night too.”
 
:Then why are you?  You don’t have too.  What are the other Hoods going to do if you don’t actually hunt me down and kill me?  How will they know?:
 
“Trust me.  They’ll know.”
 
:It’s just an excuse.:
 
I don’t want to kill you.”
 
:Well, I don’t want to be killed.:
 
“Fantastic!  We’re all agreed!”
 
:You make a very bad Hood.:
 
“And you make a lousy rhetorician.  We each have our crosses to bear.”
 
:And everyone’s favorite professor would know all about that, wouldn’t she.:

Yep.  This is what I write:  Hunter and Hunted flirting bantering in the woods.  How is this my life?

So, yeah, in essence, research ate my brain.  It does that sometimes.  And I can totally give out a brilliant list of recs for Teen Wolf, Sherlock, Stargate:  Atlantis, due South, The Avengers and a number of other fandoms that would make y’all weep.

But, also–in the interim–I’ve had a couple of new series ideas rattling around that are scarily largely oh my god, what am I thinking? working off of ideas that would actually take advantage of my fluency in fandom.

So, me with the thinky.  But, I’m not going to tell y’all about them right now.  I have the basics of the ideas down, but I’m waiting for them to mature so that I can fully articulate them to someone–anyone–who doesn’t have an intimate understanding of how my fan-brain and my art-brain work.  So, yeah, ‘Lain’s about it at the moment.

And, I’m still totally PTSD-ing from the Job of Evil Evilness ’cause, ya know, it’s fun for the whole family.

So, the things I’ve been working on in a totally not concentrated or organized way:

spindle’s work, Zellandine’s denouement: Tsuki no Usagi (rabbit of the moon), Katrina (‘Trie) Blasingame, 2012

I’ve been doing some spinning too (silk is a bitch to spin–just sayin’).

These are mini-art batts that I got from Hello Purl all spun up pretty like.

They were an absolute joy to spin.  Just sayin’.

So, yeah, love me, love my art.  Love my art, love my fandom habit.

Courage.

 

 

 

Random, willful, wanton writing on a Saturday morning.

Before I go off to rummage, I have a story for y’all.

Gnome and I were talking about subversive, subtextual narratives in Star Trek: TOS: Kirk/Spock, Spock/Uhura, Kirk/McCoy, Spock/McCoy, and Kirk/Spock/McCoy with Kirk as the omni-sexual predecessor of Captain Jack.

These are the conversations we have. Yes, we’re kinda geeky and weird.

Meh.

And, we got talking about Dracula (Coppola’s adaptation and the original text)—this happens sometimes too—and, I was talking about the narrative in Dracula is unreliable and, in my opinion, seems like it’s been massively retconed—which is something I always kinda feel like with epistolary novels and first person narration.

So, my theory is that, at the end of Dracula where it takes *cough*five*cough* men to kill Dracula, there’s an altertnative ending. What we’re reading is the official story that they took back to England, replete with a gallant death for the American since there’s no possible way he could have survived such close proximity to the supernatural. What really happened is that everyone when all swoony over Dracula and shacked up with him. Quincy decided to stay forever (hence why he’s “dead”), and Mina’s child (that is always presented as some sort of amalgam of Van Helsing, Jack [Brilliant Jack! Do you like it?], Jonathan, Quincy, and Arthur) is actually Dracula’s.

There’s more to the theory, but I may just have to write the Story Of It, ya know?

Courage.

it’s that time again. insomnia time.

So, yeah, the insomnia has hit again. Like it does.

Although, this time, I was able to catch the ass-end of Julie and Julia (totally one of my favorite movies), and it caused me to remember back in 2009, when I had taken a year off of school to suss out what exactly I was going to be doing with the rest of my life (a rest-of-my-life that lasted about a year and half), I wrote briefly for Handmade News‘s “Just for Fun” department.

And, since it’s National Novel Writing Month and I’m really behind on my novel, the insomnia is really insane and Julie and Julia was on, I’d go back and revisit the movie review that I had written of Julie and Julia for Handmade News.

‘Cause I’m weird.

And a procrastinator.

Also? Because, sometimes, reading what you have written before can be a heartening experience when you’re in the midst of a new writing project.

I.e., it reminds you that, even if you’re completely sucking right now, you once knew how to write, and possibly, you might remember how to write again.

Oh, melodrama. <–Can y’all tell that I grew up reading and watching Anne of Green Gables?

So, yeah, here it is so that y’all don’t have to over to the actual review (‘though, y’all should check out HMN).

Julie and Julia tells the story of young Julie Powell as she cooks her way through the 524 recipes in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking in 365 days. That much, you figure out from the previews. What the previews aren’t saying is how supremely sweet and touching Julie Powell’s story is because it isn’t just the story of one New Yorker rapidly approaching thirty, but really, the story of all of us that are searching for a way to free ourselves from our own indecision and looking for a dare-to-be-great situation. Julie Powell’s story of empowerment is framed by Julia Child’s story of self-discovery as she learns to cook at Le Cordon Bleu and, eventually, writes Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

Although this movie probably qualifies as a “chick-flick,” it’s an oddity in the romantic comedy genre due to everybody already being married, but more than that, a lot of what is fantastic about this movie can be summed up in two words.

Food. Porn.

Director-writer-producer Nora Ephron deftly intersperses Julie Powells’s histrionics and Julia Child’s escapades with glorious, gratuitous food porn. It’s like Food Network in a movie theatre. That alone would have made this movie worth watching, but what was completely brilliant and supremely touching was the relationship between Paul Child (Stanley Tucci) and Julia Child (Academy Award®-winner Meryl Streep) set in the beautifully scenic Paris of the late 1940s and early 1950s and then in a succession of anonymous, European apartments until, finally, Julia and Paul move into their famous Cambridge Massachusetts house.

The portrayal of Paul-—which is largely based upon surviving letters that Paul wrote to his brother Charlie, letters that Julia wrote to her friend Avis, and Julia Child’s autobiography My Life in France—is wonderfully deadpanned and quirky, and Tucci, whose performance as Puck in the 1999 adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream was unforgettable, catches those aspects of Paul exactingly, which is heartbreakingly obvious in Paul’s consideration of Julia throughout the film. Streep’s Julia is full of a madcap silliness that is completely believable if you’ve ever watched “The French Chef,” yet with an under-riding melancholy that infiltrates the film and is used to frame Julie’s own emotional setbacks and disasters with relationships and her job as well as trying to reconcile the Julia in her head and the Julia who lives and breathes in the world.

Before there is the misapprehension that this movie nothing but melancholy, there is a wickedly brilliant, sharp wit that pervades Julie and Julia and can be heard in the words and phrases that are nearly lost between Julia and Paul as scenes change and can be seen by incidents like the juxtaposition of the ritual boiling of lobsters for Lobster Thermidor with the Talking Head’s song “Psycho Killer.”

Amy Adams (Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian) and Chris Messina (Made of Honor) are fantastic as Julie and Eric, the quintessential functionally dysfunctional contemporary couple stuck in an apartment they don’t really like and in jobs that aren’t as fulfilling as they would want. Adams’ Julie is completely neurotic and brilliantly spastic while Messina’s Eric acts as a way to temper the craziness in much the same way that Tucci’s Paul balances Streep’s Julia, mirroring each other so that, even when Julie learns that Julia doesn’t care for The Julie/Julia Project, there are no hard feelings from the viewer toward Julia Child.

Julie and Eric become somewhat of a critique of blogging culture and hipsters for thirty-something couples, but Adams and Messina are so real in their portrayals that it’s hard to think badly of Julie and Eric since it seems that they are trying to find meaning whereas many soon-to-be thirty-somethings aren’t. This critique is set among a cheerily-gloomy New York one year after 9/11: Julie’s cubicle is the soft yellow that screams of some bureaucrat’s idea of “soothing” and “calming” while the street scenes are bare and often concrete in contrast to the wonderful crowded-ness of Julie and Eric’s apartment that is, as we are reminded, “900 square feet”—-and above a pizzeria.

Overall, although the film probably won’t be winning too many awards since it doesn’t have Tom Hanks dying of some horrible disease, it is sweet and witty, empowering and charming, and you’ll likely come away with a hearty appetite–both for food and for cooking.

Bon appétit!

Not precisely the kinda thing that y’all are probably expecting from a studio art blog (although, those of you that have been here for ever and ever and ever probably aren’t surprised by my little forays into writing).

Totally understandable since artists are not generally thought of creatures given to work with the written typed word, but words have always been important to me (as if evidenced by a degree in Literature and a job history littered with writing-oriented jobs).

It’s also incredibly important to my art, e.g., the unnamed friends series all have L-A-N-G-U-A-G-E poetry not-fairtales that accompany them. Also, Artist Books, for me, is less about the physical book-making (although that is important–form must meet function, after all), but more about the transmission of information, of concept.

And, the novels that I write during NaNoWriMo and the scripts that I write during Script Frenzy are where the fairytales, mythologies, narratives, and popular culture references that appear in my work get dumped stored a lot.

Think of them as my external hard-drives. <–See, ‘Lain, I do have an external storage center for my brain-files!

So, odd as it is, story-writing is part of my conceptual process and, therefore, part of my art-making.

I’m not certain that I had really verbalized that for myself before.

Nice to know all of it works together.

Courage.

What do crafters do when they aren’t crafting?

They write about crafting.

 

That’s right (no pun intended–okay, not much), crafters write.  Actually, Handmade News is looking for editors, columnists, and contributors.  Kinda shiny, yeah?  I submitted my application about 5 minutes ago. \o? <—-This is me being really nervous.

 

My submission, which I’m hoping wasn’t too craptastic, fits very well with The Book that has been living in the back of my head.  So–here is my submission in all of its craziness.

 

As a fine artist and an avid crafter who has spent a great deal of her professional life hearing about how craft and art do not mix, I have to say that I do not agree.  We all come by different streets.  Art and craft are no different.  What one person considers “art” and another considers “craft” is completely subjective and likely to be based upon nothing more than the conventions that they have been trained to think within. 

 

Currently, there is a competition titled “Art vs. Design” brought to the art/craft/visually-oriented world by the wonderful people at Artists Wanted in Brooklyn, NY.  The PSA for this competition states that “This contest is designed to answer the age old question:  What shapes our world more, art or design?  The answer is up to you.”  While the competition itself seems to promote artificial divisions that have, for so long, divided the “fine arts” from any other type of visual creative practice, upon viewing the competition pieces, it seems that the competition is actually about the slippage between the places that once were brick and mortar walls.  If this subversive reminder that categories are not fixed was not enough, much of the actual “Art vs. Design” judging is conducted by anyone and everyone who comes to the site in a Threadless-type, by-committee vote.

 

Technology is democratizing the arts, and that democratization means that art is no longer the purview of the elite, and craft is no longer something that can be looked down upon as “kitchy” or “non-conceptual”.  It is no longer an “us” or “them” creative world; there is only “us” and “us” and what we chose to do with materials and ideas.

 

All of this—the melting of long held divisions, the merging of medium and practice, the choosing, like Picasso, of the best material or technique to achieve a specific end as well as the willingness to step outside of the stuffy expectations of previous generations—is what the old creative practices are becoming:  unified, whimsical, ironic, and more than a little sublime.

 

This type of creative practice—practices that I am seeing in other visual creators, I am seeing in my own artistic practice, and I hope to continue seeing for a long time to come—seems to be linked to a desire for craft to match concept and for art-making to be an extension of self-awareness rather than merely the next money-making venture or political protest.  And, as always, there is a need to not takes oneself too seriously.

 

 Now, I wait.  *WAITS*

presenting the quixotic postmodern

PPM:  The STD* You’re Most Likely to Catch
*Something Terribly Depressing

 

We all come by different streets:

 

We’ve all heard that “geek” is the new “cool” or whatever.

 

There’s a myriad of variations on this theme, and in away, that idea of many variations on a theme, many takes on a situation, is what post-postmodernism, or what I’m calling quixotic postmodernism, is about.

 

Part of the reason that this acceptance of many perspectives seems to have became/become/will become integral and important to many contemporary cultures is the emergence of the ideals of the quixotic postmodern.

 

The postmodern, from which the quixotic postmodern is formed, exists in a state of carnival and carnivalesque where all is inverted and mocked, discursive and a perpetual charivari.

 

Good words, yeah?

 

The quixotic postmodern takes this revelry one step further (okay, sometimes we zooooooooooooooooooooom ahead completely off the steps, but you get the idea), and not only appropriate the fun and whimsy of the postmodern, but also acknowledge that the subject-object dialecticism and mockery are recursive and dependent upon each other, that in being skeptical and suspicious, deprecating and mocking of that which is appropriated/subject-/objectified, the artist is doing the same to themselves and their interests.

 

In short, postmodernism is emo-with-a-butterknife-hipstery, and quixotic postmodernism is punk-destroy-the-world-because-everyone-sucks-(including us)-hip.

 

Yet there really isn’t the fatalism or nihilism to the quixotic postmodern that is usually associated with the postmodern.  Just a if-we’re-going-to-die-anyway-we’re-going-to-have-fun quirkiness; there is fun, liminality (and reveling in our liminality), and loads of bad jokes.

 

Have you seen the working title of this book?

 

There is a focus on self-pleasure and performative action.

 

There is reverent irreverence and a whole lot of autobiographical subjectivity/objectivity.

 

There is a desire for craft to match concept and for art-making to be an extension of self-awareness rather than the next money-making venture or political protest.  Although political protest/reform are completely within the purview of the quixotic postmodernism, there is a need to not take oneself too seriously.

 

A lot of times when we’re trying to change the world, it’s less about the world and more about us on a personal level.

 

For example, whereas the postmodern generation of the 60s and after felt/feel that two plus two didn’t quite equal four (Conkelten and Eliel, 11), the quixotic postmodern generation feels that two plus two equals five given sufficiently high values of two.

 

*gestures*  We also have a tendency to reference TV and movies and music and purely sub-cultural thingies at the drop of a hat.

 

While this might sound optimistic, it isn’t necessarily; rather, two plus two not equaling four implies that there is something wrong with the world and is frightening and disconcerting, and two plus two equaling five implies that there’s something not quite right with the world and we, as makers and thinkers and dreamers (<——soooooo cliché), revel in it.

 

In quixotic postmodern, art is multivalent and hypertextual, meta-everything (to the point where meta and hyper are all that’s left sometimes!) while the craft/concept aspects are individual.

 

Quixotic postmodern art is quantum, meaning that the quixotic postmodern and art exist because of an agreed upon reality, an accepted ideal.

 

The quixotic postmodernists are the successors to Picasso’s impatience with form, Duchamp’s insistence that the artist gets the final say in their work, Kandinsky’s use of his non-art interests in his art, Messanger’s disregard of the “rules” of art, and McCullough’s emphasis on craft and form.

 

We’re tricksters.

 

We’re impatient.

 

We’re going to do what we’re going to do because, sometimes, you have to be willing to go where you have been told not to go.

 

We’re brave.

 

We’re belligerent.

 

(Can I get a “We’re Dada”?)

 

We’re going to mock our art-teachers (be they people, books, etc.) with full awareness that we are mocking ourselves and the teachers we will inevitably become.

 

We’re comfortable with uncertainty and certain that uncertainty is all that is certain.

 

We’re grey even though black and white are easier.

 

We’re the products of pop culture and intellectual discourse.